Home side secure vital win with star players out of the side injured.
A Jamie Lyon penalty goal has got the Sea Eagles home against South Sydney in a thrilling 14-12 epic on Friday night.
Manly’s first half was exceptional but despite dominating the opening 40 minutes they went to the break holding a narrow 6-4 lead.
With Brett and Glenn Stewart both missing, not many gave the Sea Eagles a hope but from the opening minutes it was obvious they had made the trip up the freeway with the intent to make a statement after their first round second half collapse against Melbourne.
They opened the scoring after just seven minutes when Peta Hiku got a late ball away when he appeared held five metres out and from a standing start Steve Matai seized the moment when he found space for Cheyse Balir to touch down in the left corner.
Matai was creating havoc in the early exchanges on the left edge and with Cherry-Evans and Foran running the show the Sea Eagles held the upper hand for almost the entire first half.
Outstanding in the opening round against the Roosters, Souths were simply making too many errors early on to extend Manly’s defence.
The effort was there but the application was missing with the Rabbitohs completing only 11 of their 21 sets in the opening half while Manly weren’t a whole lot better with only 13 completions from 21 sets.
Manly narrowly missed another try in the 23rd minute when Cherry-Evans had a try knocked back from as Foran kick after Jamie Lyon touched the ball in flight.
And only a superb trysaving tackle from Inglis saved another try to Matai in the 30th minute.
A Lyon penalty goal gave the Sea Eagles a six point lead in the 34th minute.
But in the countdown to the break an Anthony Watmough swinging arm opened up opportunity for the Rabbitohs to put themselves right back in the game.
Watmough ended up on report for a tackle on Joe Picker that warranted a penalty and no more.
But from the ensuing set Watmough then knocked the ball out of Issac Luke’s hands and Sam Burgess scooped up one of the easiest tries he will ever score.
But then Adam Reynolds continued the theme of the first half when he missed a relatively easy conversion attempt to allow Manly to hold on to a 6-4 lead at halftime.
Souths then stole the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Inglis chimed into a backline movement made hard work look easy as he collected a tough pass before sending Beau Champion over down the right edge.
A Reynolds penalty goal in the 55th minute extended Souths lead to a converted try with just over a quarter of the match to play.
And for the Sea Eagles, without the strike of the Stewart brothers it was only hard work ahead.
But some wonderful footwork from Jamie Buhrer opened a gap for Cherry-Evans to strike with a converted try locking the scores at 12-all to set up a thrilling finish.